Tuesday, May 24, 2011

iPad - Trade Nations: Review & Guide Part 1

Trade Nations is one of those city building games that sucked up small amount of time each day. It is addictive, in part due to the cute graphics, but mostly because it is fun and easy to play. As a social game on iPhone and iPad, Trade Nations has earned quite a number of good reviews. The Trade Nations is developed by Z2Live.

When the player first starts the game, Trade Nations will prompt the player to build cottages and basic resource gathering. Creating buildings in the game is done via pressing the 'hammer' icon located at the bottom right of the screen. There are 4 options when the 'hammer' icon is activated:

1) Functional Buildings -e.g. farms, cottages, shops etc
2) Decorative items - e.g. tiles, flowers, trees, statues etc (some of the items grant bonus for gold and experience gathering)
3) Castle - upgrading of the Tower to more impressive buildings, including the Citadel. 
4) Land expansion - the little plot of land is insufficient for your Trade Nations to grow and thus expansion will be needed

After the buildings are built, they can still be shifted around or be given a different orientation (or even sold for gold). Pressing the icon to the left of the 'hammer' icon will activate this re-decoration mode.

In Trade Nations, the basic block of resources comprises of four basic types:

a) Wood - Gathered from Logging camp (need 2 villagers) and available early part of the game
b) Rock - Gathered from Quarry (need 2 villagers) and available early part of the game
c) Wheat - Produced from Farms (need 2 villagers) and available early part of the game.
d) Wool - Produced from Pen (need 2 villagers)

Picture of farms (4 farms in lower right corner), some shops and 3 quarries (upper right corner)

These basic resources are later processed into three other secondary resources. Wheat is just wheat, and is used directly by the shops for goods production.

a) Wood is made into lumber in Lumber Yard (2 cutter and 2 haulers)
b) Rock is made into Cut Stones in Stone Cutter (2 cutter and 1 haulers)
c) Wool is made into Cloth in the Loom (2 weavers and 2 haulers)

Cottages, Villagers, Jobs, Gold & Beans
Villagers are available if you build cottages for them. Higher level cottages will allow for more rooms, i.e. more villagers are available. The player needs to level up in Trade Nations in order to build more cottages as well as upgrading the cottages to higher level ones.

Picture of cottages - different designs are available in Trade Nations
Cottages will also provide gold  and experience in small amount. Gold is the basic currency in the game.It can be earned via processing the resources into goods in the shop. Not all the shops need resources to produce but the earlier one do.There are also magic beans that can be used to purchase special buildings, speed up resources gathering / processing etc. Magic beans are given when the player level up in Trade Nations (1 bean per level) or be purchased via real life cash.

The villagers will need to be assigned to different jobs, in both the shops as well as resources processing buildings. Of course, some shops do not need villagers. To assign jobs, it is easier to first select the idling villagers (they will be standing next to their cottages), then select the shops. The vacancy will be shown. Select the vacancy to assign that job to the idling villager. There is no difference (or I did not see any so far) between assigning jobs to male or female villagers.

I guess this is long enough for 1 part of the Trade Nations guide, and the others (market, castle, etc) will be covered in Part 2 of the Trade Nations: Review & Guide.
See also:

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